Saturday, 17 November 2007

When wise monkeys rule ...

In my own naive way, I like to think that lefties can think and chew gum at the same time, whatever the evidence to the contrary. Right now that means opposing another bloody fiasco in the middle east in the form of an attack on Iran AND having the capacity to criticise the revolting practices in that country.

Yet, with the ratcheting up of the west's war machine, suddenly we've gone deaf, dumb and blind to the actual suffering in Iran. Homophobic persecution of gays is wrong in any society with a claim to civilisation. Hanging kids for sexuality expressed before they're out of puberty is straight out of a horror film. Violent hatred of women is well creepy. But mention these and you run the gauntlet of furious lefties screeching, "Move along. Nothing to see." (See an example here. And here.)

Surely, any warmonger who can use criticism of the Iran regime to make a case for yet another armed conflict is clearly barking and should be argued with on principled terms, not terms dictated by them in a deformed debate.

There's a tendency on the left to focus on The Big Picture and ignore the nuts and bolts of human misery, preferring the rarified atmosphere of their mountain-top Theoryland from where they can hand down The Knowledge to the rest of poor deluded fools. I have my suspicions that for some, revolution in the head is easier to cope with than change on the ground. I favour both.

We've all seen the lefties who love the masses but hate the actual flesh 'n' blood people in the masses (or even the poor grunts in their own organisations). They'll make the most piteous noises of solidarity with the oppressed in the abstract but ignore it when it happens to real people under their own noses. They will even abandon their own stated objectives of republicanism, secularism, working class socialism, open borders, abortion, gay rights, etc, when it suits them.

The trouble with the half-smart white middle-class boys (mostly) running the left and dominating the net is that their experience is drawn from a very small pool. Wade through their thoughts and you wouldn't get your ankles wet. Like the frogs in the well, they look up and see the circle of sky and declare it to be the entire world. Anyone contradicting that view has to be crushed using a variety of sleight-of-hand methods including diversion, smoke and mirrors, vilification, anything but dealing with the issues in a productive way that reflects the supposition that we are all on the same side.

The first rule of the bureaucrat; protect the system. The second law of the bureaucrat ... (yeah, we know.)

I think we should remember why we are lefties in the first place. The system has to serve humans, not the other way round. Some people have forgotten that.


DAVE BONES said...

Thats a Libertarian isn't it?

Mick Hall said...

Good piece, sadly you are correct on theory-land, I get sick of these nice middle class boys pontificating on revolution without a thought in their heads of just what a revolution entails, they seem to believe all it entails is whizzing about the place on puffer trains with giant red stars on the front of them.

If we get to the point of a revolution occurring so be it, one does not need to be reminded in which trench one steps into, but take into account the misery hardship and violence this will entail.

If there are political avenue open before we get to that stage, then we have a duty to give them a go.
I suppose what I mean is it would do no harm for some comrades to take a reality check.

Madam Miaow said...

I suspect, Mick, that many of the lads would rather shoot their own side than any real enemy. They think they're POUM, when they're actually NKVD.

ModernityBlog said...

great points, shame that your contribution at SU on Kylie and sexism seemed to go over their heads

Louisefeminista said...

Good post.

The Left fails to see the human cost to oppression, war and exploitation. Intellectualising and theorizing is very easy but actually showing empathy or understanding isn't so. The hard slog of solidarity is too much for some.

I really was moved watching the two refugee girls on the video at the meeting I attended the other night on Iraq's refugee crisis. But what quality of life will they have? This is the human cost of war, imperialism and occupation.

Renegade Eye said...

I agree with what you're saying politically. I don't think you need the moralistic language. Your politics are strong, and speak for themselves.

Madam Miaow said...

I'm afraid you'd have to be more specific, RG.

DAVE BONES said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

DAVE BONES said...

If we get to the point of a revolution occurring so be it, one does not need to be reminded in which trench one steps into, but take into account the misery hardship and violence this will entail

Why the long face? You were doing so well.

Yes. Revolution. They're not interested. They never were, but revolution doesn't need to be a slave to the old patterns of their thought processes either surely. Why does revolution have to be violent?

Anyway I only came here to say Hi and you might like this video of Koran desecration protesters desecrating SWP banners.

Its not worth taking Respec1 or Respec2 seriously but if we start to take peaceful revolution seriously I'm sure there will be a whole load of people much more interested who are a million miles from the SWP and a lot closer to wider society. Why would it have to be violent? I was thinking it might be a whole heap of fun. What have you got to loose?